Arc Motor Company, an Ontario-based startup, is pioneering the transformation of classic cars into electric vehicles (EVs) using recycled Tesla batteries. Founded by Sloane Paul, the first woman in North America to establish such a business, Arc aims to combine the charm of vintage automobiles with the silent, emissions-free experience of EVs.
The company, with a starting price of $75,000, recently completed the first-ever EV conversion of a 1974 Ford Bronco, showcasing its commitment to enhancing performance while contributing to a net-zero emissions future.
Sloane Paul, previously the global performance marketing lead at Microsoft with over 15 years of experience in major tech and engineering companies, emphasized the dual benefits of electrifying cars: improving driving performance and enjoyment while simultaneously reducing tailpipe emissions and landfill waste.
The conversion process involves utilizing scrapped or salvaged Tesla Model S units for the powertrain. The 1974 Ford Bronco EV boasts two electric motors, doubling the horsepower and torque compared to the original gas-powered version.
Tom Chep, Arc’s COO and engineer with a background in electrical engineering and extensive experience with companies like Rolls Royce and Toyota, spearheads the technical aspects of the conversions. Due to the inability to directly swap out the Bronco’s original 5.0-liter engine, Arc creatively sources used Tesla battery modules from specialized wreckers, incorporating them into a custom-built battery pack stored in the engine bay. The resulting battery, with 75 kWh of energy, provides the EV with a range of approximately 199 miles.
While this range may be less than that of modern EVs, the focus of these conversions is more on short trips. The Bronco’s electric motors deliver a significant boost, generating 260 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque—nearly doubling the original’s 120 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque. Notably, Arc aims to expand its offerings beyond the Bronco, potentially electrifying other classic cars, with a mention of a prospective project involving a “monstrous Power Wagon.”
Arc’s electric conversions take approximately 2-3 months, with an additional 4-8 weeks for shipping and parts. The company envisions a future where decreasing costs of parts and batteries will enable more affordable conversion options.
Through their innovative approach, Arc Motor Company seeks to redefine classic cars for the modern era, marrying nostalgia with sustainable, cutting-edge technology. More information about Arc Motors can be found on their website.